Shelter 2.0 - Shelter for the Masses? - Tiny House Blog

Shelter 2.0 – Shelter for the Masses?

Robert Bridges from Shelter 2.0 contacted me after I ran the Haiti Earthquake and the Tiny House Community article last week to let me know about a shelter he and a friend Bill Young have designed.

Robert says: “It easily assembled as every part is CNC cut and there are very few different pieces. The tarp can be removed once it has been set up and then made more permanent by either sheathing with two layers of 1/4″ ply covered with a rubber membrane or some sort of metal or shingles.”

Over one million people will go to sleep this year without proper shelter, and in the wake of our country’s current economic situation and the continual growth of tent cities here in America, it is the mission of Shelter 2.0 that everyone should have the right to a roof over their head and a floor under their feet. Shelter 2.0 is both affordable and easily assembled without any prior construction experience or the use of power tools, other than a cordless drill, making it easy and safe for a volunteer workforce.

The shelters are easily enlarged by adding to either end since there are very few parts that are different. You can ship some ShopBots and a couple of truckloads of plywood and tarps and have an instant shelter factory on site, or more practically cut them all over the world in a distributed network of Fabbers.

The parts are fabricated from standard building materials and the shelter itself can be easily assembled by inexperienced builders. The estimated cost of a 10′ by 16′ shelter will run between $1,500 and $2,250 in materials.

Here is a great resource for shelter for the homeless click here.

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Karen Peissinger-Venhaus - January 21, 2010 Reply

I am always amazed at people’s creativity, especially when it is for a good purpose.

I wonder if there is such as thing as recycled plywood, and if it would be a sturdy as regular plywood. Using recycled or repurposed materials would add even more to the utility of this shelter. Of course, there is the concern about uniformity of materials.

Matt - January 21, 2010 Reply

Neat…looks like one of the huts from the relocation camp in the movie District 9.

Anne - January 21, 2010 Reply

I like the covered-wagon look. Well designed and visually very pleasing. Alas, the problem for homelessness is more the municipalities’ issues with land use then a dearth of fine design.

    Matt - January 21, 2010 Reply

    …more really a combination of minimal property tax revenue and NIMBY regarding “those people”!

      Anne - January 21, 2010 Reply

      Yep, pretty much. Officials want the higher revenue, NIMBYs tend to have more to tax.

-billS - January 21, 2010 Reply

nice look. i really like the pins used to put it together. i have alot of arts and crafts furniture and love the simplicity. i think fema could use some of these. and no formaldehyde! as for the recycled plywood post…they make very stable osb out of hemp. wish we could get more of that product going. thanks for the post.

Bradin - January 21, 2010 Reply

I like this house. It should be very good for people of Haiti to have it. Since they have no building code. This is wake up call for them. To built a stronger homes, but to adapting newly technology.

To give them a strong chance to grow, to survive. Thanks for that heartfelt post. This I can see it in the future for us.

Tiny House Living , Archive » Shelter 2.0 - January 22, 2010 Reply

[…] Shelter 2.0 […]

AMH in AZ - January 22, 2010 Reply

Just a place to lay your head at night – that’s all that you really need right?

cora Muis - January 22, 2010 Reply

That works out to $100 plus per square foot – not that great for someone who makes $2 a day in Hiati…

    Robert Bridges - January 22, 2010 Reply

    Actually it is $10 a square foot.

      cora Muis - January 23, 2010 Reply

      Whoops Sorry! I like the way it could be used temporarily and then disassembled for some where else.

Susan McReynolds - January 22, 2010 Reply

I like the idea of this house, but having lived in Hispaniola, I think this will be out of the financial reach for the masses. I like adobe, but not practical for hurricanes and earthquakes. I’m thinking something more along modern day quonset huts. They are accustomed to corrugated tin roofs-needs to be tons more stable than those but of similar design. “Just a place to sleep” will not be a) very encouraging to families that have lost a home and b) will not end up being used as such. These folks deserve real homes of superior design and small footprints that incorporate all that they really need…lofts are always helpful for sleeping and cooking/storage walls are needed. Baths can be community centered like at KOA camps. Some decent outdoor space, graveled to lessen the mud that WILL come can do for the children to play on. We need to take our time and continue to post such thoughtful ideas as this and then refine our ideas. Susan

    Tracy - January 22, 2010 Reply

    Why do you think adobe isn’t suitable for hurricanes/earthquakes, Susan? Earth structures can be incredibly strong. For an example of what can happen during a hurricane with a cob structure, see these pictures of a friend’s cob studio’s encounter with a massive falling oak tree that was felled by a hurricane in Florida. There was no damage to the house, just some metal roofing that needed repairing:

Jo - January 23, 2010 Reply

Very cool!!! I like the shape and the design. It reminds me of a vintage trailer. This would be MUCH better than a tent!

Richard Zeien - January 23, 2010 Reply

You can buy a used trailer for a couple thousand dollars.

Jo Ann - January 30, 2010 Reply

Congratulations on creating such a “cool” temporary abode. Hope we at FUMC can truly be instrumental in helping to provide some much needed shelter to not only the most recent area of need–Haiti–but other areas desperate for a roof over their heads. “To whom much is granted, much is expected.” We are so blessed to have you and your creative genius and we are blessed by many faithful servants.

Bob Alexander - March 12, 2010 Reply

Good Morning Robert

Have attempted to download files to take to an individual with a CNC router setup. Cannot download to my computer. Do they have to be downloaded to the CNC set-up. Any help would be appreciated


Robert Bridges - March 13, 2010 Reply


I just tried downloading the shopbot part files and it worked fine for me. Does the cnc operator you are taking the files to have a ShopBot machine or some other brand. If they have some other brand then they will need dxf files that need to be toolpathed for their particular machine, which we do not have available for download yet,but should be available by the end of next week. Also we are working on a $500 version which we have been raising money to be able to send them to Haiti and now to Chile hopefully.

Robert Bridges

    Bob Alexander - March 15, 2010 Reply


    Thank you for responding. I was trying to download files to my PC here at my office, so I guess I have to have the folks with the CNC router
    try to download them. If this fails I will be back to you



karen - March 22, 2010 Reply

This is FANTASTIC! It maybe a little bit small but when you have lost everything you own, it’s nice to have at least a little tiny place to call home! Feel proud of your idea!

Bob Alexander - May 11, 2010 Reply


Sorry to be a pest. Have had no success downloading files …. my system (Windows XP 2002)
indicates “Windows cannot open … unable to identify what program used to create files”
The gentleman with the Shopbot system has had the same results.
Any suggestions ???


Daniel - July 12, 2010 Reply

It’s a bit of masturbation and not a solution. As stated before, [private and public] property law creates homelessness. Are Natives homeless? I think what’s throwing you off with this project is the application of a commercial grade bike rack and sidewalk entry. Nice aesthetics though on the executed model. It could be commodified and sold as hot chocolate huts for winter carnival.

David Piterski - May 29, 2016 Reply

Jeez. It’s been a long time I actually pulled out a piece of printer paper to take notes on a blog post lol. Thanks for this. You’ve earned yourself a new reader!

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